Ukrainian forces preparing Luhansk offensive
Kyiv, Sep 20: Ukraine said its troops are continuing to make gains moving eastward toward the Russian-occupied Donbas region, setting the stage for a push to potentially recapture parts of Luhansk province.
Ukraine's Luhansk provincial Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Ukrainan troops had retaken the village of Bilohorivka, a suburb 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of the city of Lysychansk, which fell to Russian forces after fierce fighting in July.
Although the reports could not be independently verified, the capture of Bilohorivka would mean Russia no longer has full control of Luhansk province. Lysychansk was the last Ukrainian city in Luhansk to fall after the Russian summer offensive in the region, which had been touted as a major victory by Moscow.
Gaidai said Ukrainian forces are preparing to take the remainder of Luhansk province from Russian occupiers.
"There will be fighting for every centimeter," Gaidai wrote on Telegram. "The enemy is preparing their defense. So we will not simply march in," he added.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian troops were gaining ground as Russian soldiers abandoned territory.
"The occupiers are clearly in a panic," Zelenskyy said in a televised address late on Monday, adding that he was now focused on "speed" in liberated areas.
On Tuesday, Russian-installed officials in Luhansk claimed that a Ukrainian strike on Krasnorichenske, a village some 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of Lysychansk, killed seven civilians.
Here's a roundup on September 20 of some of the other key developments regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Russia reportedly relocating Black Sea subs
Russia has moved a sizable chunk of its Black Sea Fleet submarines away from Crimea in the wake of attacks on Russian naval bases and other military installations in the region, according to the British Ministry of Defense.
The ministry said Russia's Black Sea Fleet command had "almost certainly" relocated KILO-class submarines from Sevastopol, the Crimean port city under Russian control, to the Black Sea port city of Novorossiysk.
"This is highly likely due to the recent change in the local security threat level in the face of increased Ukrainian long-range strike capability," it said in an intelligence update on Tuesday.
Medvedev calls for referendums in Donesk, Luhansk
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev — who is currently deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council — said on Tuesday it is "essential" that the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics hold referendums in order to join the Russian Federation.
Medvedev said on social media that joining Russia would be vital to protecting their interests because it could further justify Russia's use of military force against Ukrainian troops in the Donbas.
Only three countries recognize the two self-declared republics as independent: Russia, Syria and North Korea.
UK pledges more military aid for Ukraine
British Prime Minister Liz Truss announced on Tuesday morning that the UK next year would meet or exceed the €2.62 billion pound ($2.63 billion) military aid spent on Ukraine in 2022.
In a statement, Truss' office said this future military support would likely include Multiple Launch Rocket Systems to be used on the battlefield.
"My message to the people of Ukraine is this: the UK will continue to be right behind you every step of the way," she said. "Your security is our security."
German foreign minister accuses Russia of attacking core UN values
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that this week's United Nations General Assembly, which is due to begin on Tuesday, would not be "like the previous ones."
Ahead of the meeting in New York City, Baerbock said Russia's invasion of Ukraine attacked the principles upon which the UN was founded.
Baerbock said her focus at the meeting would be on "how to deal with and prosecute the horrific crimes committed in Ukraine in Russia's name."
"It takes the United Nations for us to find common solutions to global problems," she added. "No country should have to live in fear of a stronger neighbor attacking it."
Catch up on DW's latest reporting on the war in Ukraine
Ukraine's state energy company Energoatom said a Russian missile landed near the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in Mykolaiv region early on Sunday, causing minor damage to some buildings.
DW reports on the threat of a nuclear disaster and other developments from the weekend.
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DW looks at why this new strategy hasn't paid off at recent leaders' conferences.